Many of the most beautiful places in the world are also the strangest. From geographical quirks to natural oddities, ancient rock formations to volcanic sculptures, check out our selection of some of the weirdest wonders of the natural world. If you have any to add, leave us a comment below.
Visit the mysterious island of Socotra and you'd be forgiven for thinking you were on another planet. Part of a group of islands off the African coast, this place teems with more than 800 rare species of flora and fauna, many of which can't be found anywhere else on earth.
Want to go there? The best time for wildlife enthusiasts to visit is between January and May. Flights run from Sana'a Airport, the capital of Yemen. There is a growing offering of tourist accommodation. Visit Socotra Island Adventure for more.
This huge hole in the sea off the coast of Belize is so large and deeply blue that it's visible from space. It's believed to have formed after the Ice Age, when ice melted into the sea, covering a giant collection of caves. It's a popular spot with divers as it brims with aquatic life.
Want to go there? Take a 75-minute ferry trip from Belize city or a 20-minute flight to San Pedro.
These ancient rock formations on the Otago coast of New Zealand are believed to date back more than 60 million years. The largest boulders weigh seven tonnes. Mauri ledgend tells that the boulders are remains of eel baskets, while locals call them "giants' gobstoppers".
Want to go there? Have a look at our guide to New Zealand for more information.
This fairytale-like cascade of thermal spring waters is a unique natural site considered by many to have healing properties (the waters have been used since Roman times). The springs are laden with calcerous salts which have created plateaus, stalactites and basins to form Pummukkale, which literally means "Cotton Castle".
Want to go there? The springs are about 30km from Bodrum by car, or you can book a day trip from the city. If you want to stay, there are limited options, but the nearby town of Denizli is a safer bet for accommodation.
Green Sand Beach, or Papakolea, is one of only two green sand beaches in the world. Sitting on the sotuthern tip of Hawaii's Big Island, the sand is a distinctive olive green colour caused by a now extinct volcano.
Want to go there? Green Sand Beach is pretty isolated - you'll need to take a three hour drive from the nearest resort along the Kohola Coast.
Huge craters, steaming ground, sinister rock formations, hot water springs and lime green water: the Devil's Bath has to be seen to be believed. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua is New Zealand's most diverse geothermal area.
Want to go there? Rotorua is a three-hour drive from Auckland and is well served by hotels and visitor centres. Visit RotoruaNZ for more.
What makes these volcanic lakes so special? Well, they actually change colour from green to blue, red and black. The locals believe that The Lake of Old People, Lake of Young Men and Maidens and The Enchanted Lake are the spiritual resting place of their ancestors and change colour depending on the moods of the spirits. Don't be tempted to get too c lose though, in 1995 a Dutch tourist fell into one of the lakes and his body was never recovered.
Want to visit here? Kelimutu is in the centre of Flores and tourists start their trek from the small village of Moni, nine miles from the lakes.
Mount Roraima has sheer, plummeting, 400-meter high cliffs and is bordered by three different countries - Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. It sits in Guyana's Highland Range, some of the oldest geological formations known to man and is home to its own ecosystem, the world's highest waterfalls and unique wildlife like the carnivorous pitcher plant.
Want to visit here? The cliff walls can only be tackled by experienced climbers but there is a hiking path that occurs naturally in the mountainside. See explore.co.uk for holiday ideas.
An hour from Senegal's capital is Lake Retba, a vividly pink lake surrounded by sand dunes. The lake has a salt content similar to the Dead Sea and its distinctive colour comes from the Dunaliella salina algae. Not much lives in the lake and locals use it to mine salt and promote tourism in the area.
When to go: The lake is pinkest during the dry season from November to June.
Deweze, or The Door to Hell, as it is more commonly known, is found in the middle of the Karakum Desert. It was discovered in 1971 when Soviet geologists drilled into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground collapsed revealing a huge hole filled with poisonous gases. To avoid the discharge they decided to try and burn the gasses away and it's still burning today.
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